Saturday, December 6, 2008

Cool Tools for Understanding Your Customers and Getting More of Them

Here are a list of some really cool tools I've accumulated and started to use.

1. For understanding of what questions people ask about the subject matter of your website enter a few keywords on WordTracker's keyword question tool and turn them into articles or web content.

So, for example, you might put in a keyword regarding a medical condition and see what people really want to know and how they frame their questions. You might be surprised. Eg I put in "pregnancy" the top three questions were: "how early can pregnancy be detected", "when to take a pregnancy test" and ... "how to fool a pregnancy test". That last one stumped me but apparently people want to know! Maybe Wordtracker's search engine query data set isn't broad enough!

2. For finding out what words people are searching for try Google's search based keyword tool which should not be confused with the tool you can use within Google Adwords. This tool gives you the raw search volume (much like Yahoo!), a measure of the competition on the word for advertising and what you can expect to pay. Or as Google says
"The Search-based Keyword Tool generates keyword and landing page ideas highly relevant and specific to your website. In doing so, the tool helps you identify additional advertising opportunities that aren't currently being used in your AdWords ad campaigns."
I'm still getting the hang of this one but combined with Google Trends you can really hone in on where the search wave is breaking at the moment.

3. For understanding why people visit your website and whether they get what they want I found a cool tool that is free called 4Q. It promises to help you answer key questions like:
  • How satisfied are my visitors?
  • What are my visitors at my website to do?
  • Are they completing what they set out to do?
  • If not, why not?
What I like about this one is you are moving away from technical analysis where you infer behaviour based on measurements of things such as page visits, time on site, entry and exit pages to getting real quantitative and qualitative feedback from the customer directly. This is really powerful stuff - the voice of the customer themselves.

4. For analysing your website visitors further I can recommend Conversion Rate Expert's article. It has for example tools that show heat maps of where people click on your web pages and a whole range of surveying and customer feedback tools.

P.S. I've been busy recently honing my Adwords campaigns (weeding out non performing keywords, adding more negative keywords, splitting more terms into separate campaigns) and reducing monthly spend as a reaction to the Global Financial Crisis. I wonder what would happen if all online advertisers had the same reaction that I had ie time to stop being an Adwords slob and make sure all your paid keywords are converting! At the end of the day you only want to pay for traffic that is of real value.

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